Spring in Florence is a beautiful time to visit. The wisteria is in full bloom, vineyards are waking up from their winter dormancy, the festivals & markets come to life, and food & wine is welcome via al fresco. One grand memory of Primavera a Firenze was to again visit my favorite masterpiece painting titled, “Primavera” by my favorite Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli.
White asparagus, asparagi bianchi, is my favorite seasonal vegetable. Foods and cheeses are garnished with fresh edible flowers. Pasta cuisine has a lighter flare.
Vineyards awake from their slumber, buds are breaking,
and mustard grass draws a symmetrical visual to the bare vineyards.
A classical Vini d’ Toscana wine tasting with a classical view.
Temporary art exhibits are showcased in churches, villas, castles, and other historical buildings.
When I studied Art History, I was captivated by the Italian Renaissance. I studied the Italian language, attended many operas with and without subtitles, partook in Italian cooking classes, and immersed myself in learning Italian wine the proper way. I fell in love with Sandro Botticelli's works and Primavera is my all time favorite painting.
The Medici banking families were patron of the arts and Botticelli was commissioned for virtually all of their arts. This painting was created for the marriage of a Medici family member.
Many of Botticelli’s paintings have the same woman’s face, his Florentina muse, Simonetta. In this painting, Simonetta is depicted as "Flora", the Spring Goddess. In an era of male models, most Renaissance painters missed the characteristic feminine lines that are seen in the elegant, slender, and fine features.
"The Three Graces", the three angelic women, represent the feminine virtues of Chastity, Beauty, and Love.
Renaissance means a rebirth emerged from the era of Dark Ages. We see history repeat itself time and time again; for example, book censorship. Today, there is a cultural movement to censor, ban and unpublish books based on political affiliation. Back then, during the 15th c. there was a political and cultural purging of certain books and artworks. That historical period was Savonarola’s infamous “Bonfire of the Vanities” and sadly, Sandro Botticelli fell victim to conforming with the priest’s misfit ideologies. Conforming to social pressures, Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, known as Sandro Botticelli, nickname "little barrel", felt compelled to burn many of his mythological paintings.
Many years from now, I wonder how history will portray today.
The Delong 100 Grape Varietal Challenge encourages all wine enjoyers to expand their wine drinking horizon by seeking out unusual grape varieties. These past few years, I have tasted over 180 grape varieties. After all, there are over thousands of grape varieties world wide. With so many wine grapes, styles of wine, and wineries to explore, wine is an educational adventure. So grab your virtual passport and come along with me on a Grape EdVenture™ around the world.